Family Attractions in Denver


The 20 great family attractions in Denver are a great way to keep your kids and you entertained during your stay here.

Those who love the outdoors can explore rock formations at Red Rocks Amphitheatre or visit the outlying nature and wildlife preserves. 

If you're into the arts, you can enjoy the special areas designed with your kids in mind at both the Denver Art Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you have kids interested in the government, Denver has some can’t-miss attractions: the state capitol building and the Money Museum.

Get more ideas below on places to visit that will be fun for the whole family.

Family Attractions in Denver

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1. Children's Museum

Children's Museum Denver

The Children's Museum is No. 1 on my list of family attractions in Denver because it's one of the best places for kids to create, explore, and learn. It's the perfect spot for families traveling with kids eight and younger.

At this museum, they can kayak in Box Canyon, be a veterinarian for a few hours, and learn about water. Each exhibit is set up for specific age groups, so you will know which one is right for your kids.

>> Find more great museums to visit with your kids

2. Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

Sports Hall of Fame

If your family loves sports, then take a trip to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, located at Sports Authority Field at Mile High where the Denver Broncos play. 

The free museum pays homage to Colorado’s exceptional sports figures. Spend some time in the section dedicated to the Super Bowl champion Broncos. There are also tributes to women in sports and Special Olympics athletes. Don’t miss the interactive kids’ zone — they can dress in sports gear and pretend to be big-league athletes.    

While there, you can tour the stadium to get a behind-the-scenes look at its locker room, end zone, and executive suite. The stadium tour has an admission fee. If interested, meet at Gate 1 on the stadium’s west side.

>> Discover more free things to do with the family

3. Colorado State Capitol

State Capitol

Denver is Colorado’s state capitol, so take advantage of your chance to check out its gorgeous capitol building during your visit. With its gold-plated dome, you won’t be able to miss it among the other historic buildings in Civic Center Park downtown. 

Admire the murals and grand staircase of the building built in 1901. The capitol also houses Mr. Brown’s Attic Museum, which focuses on Colorado history.

You can take a self-guided tour, but if you want to see the dome up close, you’ll need to sign up for a group tour. The capitol is open weekdays but closed on major holidays.

>> See pictures and learn more about visiting

4. Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum

Near Civic Center Park, you’ll see an usual geometric building with titanium panels — that’s the Denver Art Museum, the city’s most-visited museum. Exhibits include thousands of both modern and ancient pieces from all over the globe.

Your kids will love the many areas designed just for them. They can draw, go on a scavenger hunt, and take part in more fun activities while developing an appreciation for art. 

5. Rocky Mountain National Park - Day Trip

Rocky Mountain National Park

In addition to the great family attractions in Denver, you will find several others a short drive away. The Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular.

This large 265,000 acre National Park offers you the chance to go for a hike, cross over the Continental Divide, or stroll around their visitors center. You can either drive on your own or head up on a guided tour (and leave the driving to someone else). 

6. Firefighters Museum

Denver Firefighters Museum

Firefighters are such heroes that they deserve their own museum — and Denver actually has one. It's one of the great family attractions in Denver where you’ll learn about the history of local firefighters through exhibits featuring equipment, documents, photos, and more. 

The museum is housed in a 1909 historic structure that was built on the site of the city’s original 1882 station.  

Kids can dress up like firefighters and play with interactive exhibits. There’s even a chance for a ghost sighting, because the building is believed to be haunted.

7. Museum of Nature & Science

Museum of Nature & Science

The whole family will enjoy a trip to this museum famous for its wildlife dioramas. You’ll also find exhibits covering space, mummies, geology, Native American culture, and more. It's one of the must see family attractions in Denver.

Other activities inside the museum include a planetarium, IMAX theater, Discovery Zone, and high-tech education studios. 

On the weekends, other things to do include experiments, crafts, and games. The museum waives admission about once a month, however there’s still a fee for the IMAX, planetarium shows, and special exhibits.

8. Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo

Who doesn’t love a trip to the zoo? What’s special about this zoo is that not only is it on the National Register of Historic Places but it also has no fences or bars to obstruct your view of the animals. You’ll see favorites such as monkeys, bears, lions, giraffes, and elephants.

This is one of the family attractions in Denver that includes a carousel and train, up-close animal encounters, and public feedings of llamas, penguins, sea lions, and elephants. Come around Halloween and Christmas when the zoo is decorated and hosts special holiday events. 

9. Downtown Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium

The ocean is home to some amazing creatures, and you’ll get to see some of them in the Downtown Aquarium’s 50,000-gallon tank. You can have lunch around the tank, watch short films in the 4-D theater, and even touch a stingray. 

Don’t miss the mermaid show in the tank that more than 100 colorful species call home. You can also see divers make feedings twice a day in the tank. 

10. Money Museum

Money Museum

Denver is home to one of the U.S. Mints, but it’s also home to the Money Museum, both of which are free. The museum, located on the 16th Street Mall, is officially known as the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - Denver Branch and here you’ll learn how the banking system works. 

The museum features exhibits such as historic money from the 1700s and a display of what $30 million looks like. Don’t forget to get your free bag of shredded bills before you leave! 

11. Forney Museum of Transportation

Forney Museum

If it moves, you can find it at the Forney Museum of Transportation. This is one of the family attractions in Denver where you can see all modes of transport, from trains to planes and sleighs to carriages. Antiques include cable cars, steam tractors, a dining car, motorcycles, and more. There’s even Amelia Earhart’s 1923 Kissel yellow speedster, the “Gold Bug.”

Individual tours must be booked at least a week ahead, and group tours must be booked at least two weeks ahead.

12. Four Mile Historic Park

Four Mile Park

The Four Mile House, set within the 12-acre Four Mile Historic Park, is Denver’s oldest standing structure. Built in 1859, it was the last stop along the Cherokee Trail for those heading west to Denver. Step back into pioneer times and pan for gold, view historic barns, see farm animals, and listen to story time.

The park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is waived the second Friday of the month. 

13. Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art

Teens will love this art museum, because it offers many programs aimed at them, plus it gives them an opportunity to work with professional artists. Younger kids will have fun, too, in the Fox Family Idea Box, an area where they can be creative.

You can spend the whole day here, and when you’re hungry, head up to the rooftop deck for lunch, coffee, and a full bar that offers amazing city views.

The is one of the family attractions in Denver that is free for children 18 and younger.

14. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

Wings Over the Rockies

See a variety of air crafts at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. This interesting attraction features several jets from various wars.

You can also step inside the cockpit of the airplane to see what it is like to fly or spend some time in a simulator to get an even better sense of being a pilot. 

This interesting museum is located on the southeast part of time on the old Lowry Air Force Base.

15. Botanic Gardens: Family Attractions in Denver

Botanic Gardens

Make sure to stop and smell the roses during your visit to the Botanic Gardens. This large attraction offers two locations with thousands of plants and flowers to admire.

During your visit with your family, make sure to also stop by the Water Gardens pond at the York Street location. Each time I visit, I've encountered the cutest family of ducks playing around in the pond. They are fun to watch and a special treat for the younger visitors. 

16. Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Escape Denver to see the surrounding area’s natural beauty. At this 15,000-acre wildlife refuge, you’ll see where more than 330 species call home. On an 11-mile loop drive through the sanctuary, keep an eye out for prairie dogs, raccoon, deer, eagles, bison, coyote, and turtles. Other activities include fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Don’t miss the visitor center. It’s one of the family attractions in Denver that is free and features educational programs. 

The refuge is open sunrise to sunset every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

17. Dinosaur Ridge

Dinosaur Ridge

If you want to see some well-preserved dinosaur fossils, then head to Morrison to visit Dinosaur Ridge. This National Natural Landmark has both free and paid areas. 

The free areas offer you a chance to see the dinosaur fossils and learn just a little about them. It's a steep walk to get to the free section, so if you prefer, you can also pay to take the shuttle to see them.

The paid museum features more information on this area and the fossils. In addition, there are kids and family activities. 

18. Morrison Natural History Museum

Morrison Natural History Museum

Learn more about dinosaurs as well as Colorado’s natural history at this fascinating museum. Get an insider’s look at research currently in progress, and hear from experts in the field.

This is one of the family attractions in Denver where you can investigate the interactive exhibits, check out rocks and fossils, view a quarry and dig pit, and see dinosaur skulls. Not all animals here are dead though — live reptiles are on view too.

The museum is self-guided, but you can sign up for one of the three daily guided tours where you’ll hear more details about the displays.

19. Red Rocks Amphitheatre & Museum

Red Rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an outdoor music venue that offers perfect acoustics and unparalleled natural views. Take the family to see a concert or one of the outdoor summer movies while admiring the surrounding red rocks and Denver views. You can also explore the rocks up close, go for a hike, or have a picnic. 

Check out the Colorado Music Hall of Fame to find out about all the musicians who have played here. Also, spend some time in the visitor center and trading post.

20. Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve

Lookout Mountain

This 134-acre nature preserve is in the Rocky Mountain foothills, which is home to some amazing animals. During your visit, you may see mountain lions, bears, elk, and mules roaming the area. The plant life is amazing as well — it includes prairie grass, meadows, flowers, and ponderosa pines. 

This is one of the great family attractions in Denver, because your kids can have fun learning about nature via interactive exhibits and activities. The tours led by a naturalist are informative and entertaining. The family can also snowshoe, cross-country ski, and hike. 

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